Kevin Durant's 33 points led the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder to a 87-83 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Rose Garden.
Portland made a late surge after falling behind by double digits in the fourth quarter. The Blazers went on a 9-0 run in the last three minutes of the game but couldn't connect on a desperation three-pointer and were denied the comeback.
Nicolas Batum hit the key shot, a 25-foot three-pointer that brought the team within just one point with 21 seconds left to play. The ensuing possession for the Thunder ended in tragedy, as Damian Lillard stole the ball from Russell Westbrook and gave the home team a chance to take the lead.
Batum missed a layup and Kendrick Perkins connected on one of two from the foul line to put the Thunder up again by two points.
The Trail Blazers turned to LaMarcus Aldridge, who was on fire, for the equalizer. He couldn't connect from 19 feet out and Russell Westbrook nailed two free throws to seal the win for the Thunder.
Durant's efforts helped salvage a poor shooting performance by Westbrook. The Thunder PG hit just five of his 21 shots but finished with 18 points, nine assists and eight rebounds. DeAndre Liggins was the only other Thunder player in double figures with 11 points.
Portland had an awful night shooting the ball while losing its second game in a row after an impressive win over the Miami Heat on Jan. 10.
The Trail Blazers hit just 36 percent of their shots and only 28.6 percent from behind the three-point line.
Aldridge put in the best effort for the home team, dumping in 33 points in a losing effort. He also snagged 11 boards and blocked two Oklahoma City shots.
Batum was the only other Trail Blazer who scored in double digits, adding 21, including that clutch three-pointer with just 21 seconds left to play.
Player of the Game: Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder's star player started out with a solid nine points after one quarter. He didn't let up, either, finishing with 33 points that put the Thunder well enough ahead to help ward off a late comeback attempt by the Trail Blazers.
What's Next for the Thunder?
The Thunder will continue their West Coast trip, sorta, when they head to Phoenix to take on the Suns on Monday. Phoenix is fresh of a stunning 97-81 beatdown of the Chicago Bulls in Chicago on Saturday night.
What's Next for the Trail Blazers?
Portland will take the day off on Monday in preparation for a trip to Denver to take on the Nuggets. Denver is coming off of a big home win against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.